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Dual Degree Programs Aim to Create Better Engineers

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The Computing Research Association recently reported that enrollment in engineering and computer science programs increased by 8 percent over the 2007-2008 school year, and many schools are still working to improve enrollment in these programs. "There's a definite need in America to increase its numbers in the sciences in general, but computer sciences and engineering in particular," says Elon University professor Richard D'Amato. Elon University offers a dual degree program that allows students to receive a degree in another field while studying engineering. D'Amato says that the other degree is generally another science like chemistry or physics. "It makes for better engineers — not only are they able to calculate and design, but they can also articulate it," he says.

University of Florida has plans to create a dual-degree Engineering program based on Elon's, and Elon professor Dave Powell says that many students have entered the computing science field at Elon for the flexibility that the school's program offers. "This year, we saw a large increase in the number of students taking Computer Science I," he points out. "The number of students increased from 65 in Academic Year '07-'08 to 105 for Academic Year '08-'09." Powell notes that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an increase in demand for computer scientists in the near future.

From Elon University
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